Eight years ago today, my husband and I went on our first official date. He tricked me into going out with him. We were both teachers at the same school in Philadelphia, and he randomly called me one Sunday to ask if I wanted to go with “us” to see a comedian. The “us” is important because that’s where we disagree. He claims that it was clear that it was a date while I have long maintained that it was implied that others were also going. I have always told the story that he tricked me into our first date.
Here’s the part I’ve never told him: I hoped it was a date. I still claim that he said us on the phone, but I wanted it to be just the two of us so badly. I had long had a crush on him, but as soon as he asked me out, I got nervous. We worked together, and I really didn’t want things to get awkward between us if things didn’t work out. Or worse, I didn’t want them to be weird if they did work out. So, when people asked me about it, I just made it seem like he had tricked me. At that I point, my heart had recently been broken and my ego desperately needed a boost. It also made it ok if it didn’t work out. He had tricked me; it’s not like I was at all into him.
Eight years is a long time. Yet, there are moments that I remember like yesterday. Here are eight of my very clear memories from our early dating days.
1. I remember the first time I saw him. He bound into the gym during summer professional development. He had on a backwards baseball hat and tan cargo shorts that are probably still upstairs in a drawer somewhere. I asked my friend who the cute guy was. I had a boyfriend, but something made me notice him right away.
2. I remember when he put his hand on my leg during a funny part of the comedian. He got all sorts of embarrassed and apologized for it.
3. I remember when he got gum stuck in my hair. It was almost a deal breaker.
4. I remember when he ordered the trout (which I thought was weird) on our second date, and he got a cobb salad instead. He was so polite he ate it anyway.
5. I remember him not having text messaging. He had to use some sort of aluminum foil wrapped antennae to get messages to me when I went on vacation to Florida.
6. I remember him waiting for me and my girlfriends to come home from going out on the tailgate of his blue 4Runner. I warned him the next morning they would all be coming in my room to visit as soon as I heard voices stirring, and he didn’t believe me. Sure enough, we were soon surrounded by all of them on my bed.
7. I remember him making a comment about me being “older”. He thought I was several years older than him. No darling, just more mature.
8. I remember telling him I loved him way too early in the relationship. He told me not to say it if I didn’t mean it. I absolutely did and still do.
As my sister so brilliantly said in her maid of honor speech, “May today be the day you love each other the least.” She was absolutely right.
I couldn’t be happier that he tricked me eight years ago.